By Ed Drewitt
Pelagic Publishing, 2020
ISBN 978-1-78427-207-4; £24.99
This pocket-sized book is primarily a collection of high-quality photographs showing the bird remains most commonly left by raptors. There is a short, but useful introduction, which quickly leads on to the species accounts. Here, the emphasis is on images of feathers (or tracts of feathers), with a few dead birds and severed heads thrown in for good measure. The text is concise but helpful, drawing attention to the key features to look out for. A handful of mammals are also included at the end.
The book sets out to provide an introduction to the subject rather than a comprehensive reference. Only the most commonly found species are dealt with. For example, of the ducks, Mallard Anas platyrhynchos and Eurasian Teal A. creccareceive full coverage, while the warblers are represented by Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus, Common Chiffchaff P. collybita and Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla. In contrast, there are 18 wader accounts, reflecting the wide range of species taken frequently by raptors, especially by the Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus.
This is a good, accessible introduction to this subject. It provides a good feel for the types of remains worth looking out for, and it will be of great help in identifying the more commonly found species. For those wishing to identify every species found, other references will be needed, and a useful list is provided.